Italy Seeks Finger Lime Entry into United States

Josh McGillExport/Import, International, Limes

The government of Italy has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to authorize the importation of fresh finger lime (Citrus australasica) for consumption into the United States. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has drafted a pest risk assessment that describes potential pests associated with the commodity.

Finger Lime

APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead APHIS to revise the draft assessment before it identifies pest mitigations and proceeds with the commodity import approval process.

The draft pest risk assessment for finger lime fruit for consumption from Italy will be available for review and comment until June 17, 2022. View the assessment and/or submit comments here.

APHIS prepared a document to assess pest risks associated with importation of the finger limes. The executive summary states in part: “Using scientific literature, port-of-entry pest interception data, and information from the government of Italy, we developed a list of pests with quarantine significance for the United States that occur in Italy (on any host) and are associated with the commodity plant species (anywhere in the world). We found no organisms that met the threshold for unacceptable consequences of introduction.”

In the document, APHIS lists the quarantine pests that occur in the export area on any host and are associated with the commodity species, whether in the export area or elsewhere in the world.

The document also points out that finger lime is native to Australia. It adds, “There is increasing interest in its international production. Finger lime has only been grown for three years in Italy, where information of potential pests that may affect the commodity is limited. Common names of pests that are generally reported on finger limes elsewhere in the world include scale insects, aphids, mealybugs, caterpillars, snails, katydids, grasshoppers, and twig or branch dieback.”


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